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China Approves Giant Propaganda Machine To Improve Global Image (bloomberg.com) 157

China has approved the creation of one of the world's largest propaganda machines as it looks to improve its global image, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the matter. From the report: The new broadcaster will be called "Voice of China," the person said, mimicking the U.S. government-funded Voice of America that started up during World War II to advance American interests. Bloomberg News had previously reported the new entity would be created through merging China Central Television, China Radio International and China National Radio. The combined group was designed to strengthen the party's ability to shape public opinion and would serve as a key vehicle for China to project its image to the world.
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China Approves Giant Propaganda Machine To Improve Global Image

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  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:04AM (#56290517)

    I guess this is easier than actually acting better?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      if you want to summon them you have to include terms other than just china. jail is a good one

      china jail
      chinese jail

      too bad slashdot sucks at utf8 or I'd include some chinese text too

      now marvel as all the pro china comments shoot up to +5

      • the beetlejuice / biggie smalls effect!

        Summon the china payed trolls!

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I see it a lot on Reddit. Some topic comes up regarding China, and suddenly there's a flood of support for autocracy, opposition to the idea that freedom of speech is a universal human right, and whataboutism directed toward the US. It's a bit concerning to watch, even more so when people who don't seem to be wumao shills start falling for it.

        I don't think I've seen it on Slashdot though. I guess that this is due to this site's smaller size, the differences in randomly allotted mod points vs every acc
    • by jimtheowl ( 4200185 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:26AM (#56290659)
      Too bad there is no longer a global super power to act as a moral compass that could actually exemplify what 'better' means.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Which countries will arrest and convict you for making a joke? A shorter list is; which country will not arrest and convict you for making a joke.

        I think it is safe to say that any country that will convict you for humor is not in any position to act as a moral guide post and do not exemplify any definition of "better".

        • The Tyrant fears not the arrow or the spear, but the grin.
        • In the USA you can be charged and arrested for a felony for tasteless humor on Facebook. [cnn.com] People overestimate their freedom of speech and face serious consequences surprisingly often.

          • Let's just make sure we are all on the same page.

            m8 yer dugs a nazi [youtube.com] Count Dankula has been convicted today for that video in Scotland.

            Compared to a tweet that said: "I'm f***ed in the head alright. I think I'ma (sic) shoot up a kindergarten and watch the blood of the innocent rain down and eat the beating heart of one of them. "" Followed by "LOL J/K". 2 months after Sandy Hook elementary mass shooting.

            I don't know the right answer but the later tweet borders an actual crime ie threat of violence. Bordering

            • That threshold has already been defined. Libel, slander, incitement to violence, perjury, etc. are considered crimes to be considered in court.

              You're correct that the US does have protections to free speech built into the constitution. Burning the flag is considered free speech, and the supreme court reaffirmed that there is no exception to the first amendment for hate speech. [washingtonpost.com]

              That said, the letter and spirit of the law matters less than your ability to pay for lawyers to defend you, and post bail. Thus

      • Here is how we banish you. "Tiananmen Square" "Tank Man"

        There. Now you can't see this entire thread anymore.

        • At least Tank Man can be admired and respected in other countries for his bravery, as he deserves to be remembered. Thank you for mentioning him.
      • People laughed at me when I wept when the Soviet Union fell. Back when the evil Russians still existed our leaders had to pretend they're the good guys. Back then we had a evil empire that forced ours to be good. Today we have an evil empire that bribes ours to be as bad so it doesn't get noticed anymore.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They're adding the whole "social credit" system to their society, meaning that if you say Bad Things (or anything at all) about Tibet, say, or include the letter N in your weibo tweets, or something else the censor doesn't like... you're barred from trains and airplanes for a year.

      See? They're working hard at making all the Chinese act better, more harmonious and in line with the party.

      And yes, they're deadly serious about it. They just told all their citizens: You will act better, or else!

    • Well it is.
      I would like you to name a country, who is void of any bad behavior, who has parts of its past it doesn't try to hide to explain away.

      Now I am not taking China off the hook, they have some serious human rights violations they are still doing. However they have seem to be getting the Most Improved award over the past generations (still a low hanging fruit).

      But it is easy to keep on focusing on the negatives of every country and not seeing the positives going out, and sometime you need some extra m

      • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @11:34AM (#56291065)

        Dictatorship is still dictatorship. They don't get off the hook until they become a functioning democracy and adopt some form of human rights guarantees and dedication to upholding them.

        You may or may not like our president, in fact raw statistics would suggest you probably strongly dislike him. But our press is free to, and perhaps has actually enjoyed criticizing him without fear of retribution. He's twisted the screws, but our police force has been able to successfully investigate him and locked a few of his most corrupt cronies a way, and may yet get him. Protestors that roamed the streets and in a few cases were actually doing dangerous and unjustifiable things in the name of "anger", were not driven over by tanks. Our business leaders, who are split on liking and loathing him, have been able to take appropriate actions to protect the interests of their companies. We have no great firewall, even if Russia demonstrates that perhaps we needed one, my money is on us surviving this and coming out stronger and more discerning.

        It's not perfect and there are abuses, but until China can demostrate that they are MORE free and LESS abusive than we are, I'm going to continue to consider them a dangerous dictatorship that needs to be put down when convenient.

      • According to Iron Sky, I'd guess it could be Finland.

    • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:44AM (#56290771) Journal
      they have a dictatorship now.
      Chinese gov will be pushing this on many other nations, esp on their new international road.
      With VOC, they will be able to BS their way all around.
      Sadly, the one thing that you will NOT hear, is the truth.
      This will be far more like regular Chinese news, Pravda, Fox News, or Breitbart.
      Just a bunch of propaganda.

      What is sad is that VOA made a big todo to NOT spew propaganda, but instead to simply get the facts/truth out.
      I will say that with Trump/Today's GOP in charge, I do not know what we are broadcasting anymore.
    • Works for Republicans.

    • Well, duh!

      What's "better" though? China still has one of the fastest growing economies. That certainly is good for ... well, at least some Chinese. Not all, of course. Same as here, you know? Just with no growing economy and you can choose between two assholes to dictate your laws instead of having to go with only one.

    • Great China please be contended already betterest. When temporary old hand go speak no unripe propaganda. If herein internet bring inconvenience please understanding. From China to World - is the common goal of us!

  • Good luck undoing that.
    • Re:"Made in China" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by thinkwaitfast ( 4150389 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:39AM (#56290747)
      Japan did it.
      • I think it's already undid. Those 3 little words changed the world. If china wants a better image, be quieter (government) and have easier time to get visas.

        I currently have to bribe some official in another town to go to the embassy for me to bribe a higher up official to get my visa even in line for processing. It's another bribe to get it processed within a month. Certainly not easy or cheap to get to china. Guess its easier if you're an inanimate object.
      • Every country that industrializes does it at some point. Even the U.S. went through a period where it was thought of as making cheap, inferior goods compared to what European manufacturers could produce.

        It's a natural consequence of beginning with little expertise or experience meaning that the only way to compete is on price. As a country does that over several decades they start to build up skill and competency that allows them to command higher prices for their higher quality goods. Meanwhile some oth
        • Every country that industrializes does it at some point. Even the U.S. went through a period where it was thought of as making cheap, inferior goods compared to what European manufacturers could produce.

          I don't think e.g. "made in USA" is a particularly good label nowadays, except in the USA.

          • Actually, the U.S. is only competitive with good shit these days; other nations are able to manufacture cheap shit far more competitively. So, no; not actually.
      • Why was Japan putting "Made in China" on things? :)

  • "The new broadcaster will be called "Voice of China""

    Because "Washington Post" and "New York Times" were already taken.

  • by Bohnanza ( 523456 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:25AM (#56290657)
    (see, it's working already)
  • er (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:28AM (#56290671)

    mimicking the U.S. government-funded Voice of America that started up during World War II to advance American interests.

    Er, yeah, if by "advance American interests" you mean "combat worldwide totalitarian movements that were grinding humanity under their boots".

    China, OTOH, is the massive totalitarian movement grinding humanity under their boots.

    • Re:er (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:31AM (#56290683)

      Your response shows the investment in VOA has worked

    • Re:er (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arcade ( 16638 ) on Tuesday March 20, 2018 @10:49AM (#56290801) Homepage

      Saudis, Guzzetti, Branco, Pinochet, Chiang, Batista, Battalion, Suharto, the Shah, Saddam Hussein, Vang Pao, Somosa, Mobutu .. just a small list of dictators supported by the US.

    • You know that there was time between WW2 and now, yes? Because until WW2 you might have had a case.

    • I'm on your "side" here but this is geopolitics; don't try to project ethics onto it.
  • chinese arrogance is astounding. wonder who they will attack when the bubble pops. .
  • America learned how to be a great nation by example taking from the many nations of Europe. During post WWII, we were just like the pre WWII Europe in that we happily worked with any Dictator and even installed a few of our own. We were an economic powerhouse, and by the late 60's, LA, Chicago, and NY looked similar to China, though no where quite as bad.
    Fortunately, America DID clean up our act.

    Now, we have China wanting to bring dictatorships all over the world. Problem is, that so many ppl have bee
  • I am simply astounded that the Chinese Communist Party actually thinks people believe the shit they spew. There is overwhelming evidence to the contrary so there is no way I would believe any of their propaganda. It's so preposterous as to be bordering on asinine.
    • Fox News and Friends have become so powerful instead of merely being a propaganda arm they now have taken over control of the Republicans. The suckers who were just supposed to be managed (vote & donate) are now literally running and getting into positions of power!

      It's now an incestuous insular cycle. The end result of too much success.

      • by mentil ( 1748130 )

        Yeah, remember when the Gerber baby and a retired actor were made Republican Presidents? Damn Fox News!

      • This is just funny that you single out fox without pointing out the left wing media culprits. Fox is right leaning (if you watch their opinion shows, much less on their actual news) but the left wing media is militant.

        The problem is the left puts opinion in the news headlines, let alone stories. The funny thing is people are so anti Trump pro crappy stuff they cannot see the difference between facts and opinions and don't even accept other people are allowed to differ in opinions.

        Comment re: fox is so
  • They just call their giant propaganda machine 'news' and bill it under names like 'CNN' and 'FOX'.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Actually, CNN is centrist, not left-leaning. But they found out bashing Trump is a ratings bonanza and cranked it up. And it's cheap because he provides so much eyebrow-raising material for free. 4: Profit!

  • Am I the only one who read the headline and immediatley had a picture of a gigantic rube goldberg style machine clanking away and belching great plumes smoke periodically with newspapers with various front page coming out on a conveyor belt? Maybe I saw that in a cartoon somewhen. Now it's stuck in my head.

  • proving that they really are just like all the other fascist dictatorships.

  • ... that I'll no longer get to chuckle at a "news" channel called CCTV, or have to explain to non-Americans why that's funny?

  • Why would they bother creating a giant propaganda machine? Couldn't they just buy Facebook?
  • Like i don't know Ending their occupation of Tibet and allowing the Dali Lama to return home would be a good start. Or shutting down that Great firewall of theirs
  • ...closing down all outlets that are not seen as pro-regime.
    Something we really don't need: a chinese sized North Korea.

  • We here in the USA still have the Chinese government beat!
    We have quite a plethora of state and corporate manipulated propaganda machines: FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, Turner, ...

    Oh, and let's not forget NPR! Have a look at their donors.
  • Hillary Clinton did the same thing when she was Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. It didn't really work, though, because Wikileaks let everyone know what the US *really* does.

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.